Sustainable Fashion and OEC’s Newest Impact Partner

As Oregon emerges from 16 months of shut downs and people begin to return to stores and restaurants with a sense of safety, we at OEC want to bring some more good news for the Summer. We are thrilled to have been chosen as the Impact Partner for the next 6 months with a local Portland, OR boutique called Foundation: Fashion and Philanthropy. Foundation’s business model is centered around donating 100% of their profits to an organization that aligns with their mission.

Say no to fast fashion, say yes to sustainable shoppingFoundation works like any other business, paying expenses like salaries and suppliers first. But then the rest of the revenue from the clothing they sell goes to a nonprofit of their choice, in order to help that nonprofit further their mission and work. They source from local designers who practice sustainable procurement and ethical labor policies, and they focus on timeless, classic pieces– swimming against the grain of fast fashion. Our Environmental Health Program director, Jamie Pang, and Executive Director, Diana Nunez visited the store last month to kickoff the partnership and to introduce the work that OEC does, especially in the area of reducing toxics in our everyday purchases. 

How does one shop sustainably?
By now, it is well-known that “fast-fashion” (clothing made cheaply, in mass quantities, and often with materials made from fossil fuels) has a detrimental impact on the environment. The fashion industry is currently responsible for more annual carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, and is expected to increase its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in the next decade.

We all need clothing, unless you want to walk around naked. Here are some tips to shop sustainably:

  • Buy fewer, but higher quality and more durable items. Focus on timeless, classic pieces that work well in more than one season, and for years to come.
  • Look for quality, natural fibers. Synthetic fibers tend to break down faster, and contain toxic chemicals. Materials like organic cotton or bamboo last longer, and are better for the environment.
  • Do your research. Many companies realize they have a corporate responsibility to do the right thing. Look for shops that give more details on their sourcing and labor practices.
  • Give second-hand/thrift stores a shot to keep things out of the landfill;

Support OEC and a locally owned business!
There are many ways to be an environmentalist. Being intentional and thoughtful about the purchases on things you need is just as important. If you want to support OEC, and are in the market for some new clothing, please consider visiting Foundation’s shop at 919 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210 or online at https://foundationpdx.com/shop/ .

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